Source: Scotland – Highland Council
Issued on behalf Highland Child Protection Committee
Everyone in Highland is being encouraged to keep their Eyes Open for children at risk during the school holidays.
As Highland schools prepare to ring the end of term bell on July 5 2019 for the holidays, a national child protection organisation is urging everyone to be extra observant to help protect potentially vulnerable children while school’s out for summer.
Child Protection Committees Scotland, a nation-wide grouping of child protection professionals hopes that members of the public will keep their eyes open and play a part to keep children safe from harm during the long break in the school routine.
DCI Vince McLaughlin, Chair of the Highland Child Protection Committee said: “The vast majority of children in Highland look forward to having lots of fun and free time during the school holidays but for some the summer break can bring extra stress and pressure. In some cases, children might not be looked after or supervised properly, and some might even experience serious neglect. We want to encourage people to be alert to signs that something could be wrong in a child’s life and to pass your concerns on without embarrassment so someone can assess this information and intervene to support and protect the child if necessary.”
CPCScotland stresses that everyone in every community across the country is responsible for child welfare. By taking a more watchful, active Eyes Open approach, CPCScotland suggests that all members of the public can play a part to protect our children.
As well as being vigilant, CPCScotland chair Alan Small has stressed it is essential to take action if you’re concerned about a child during the school holidays.
He said: “We’re simply asking people to keep their eyes open for telltale signs that all is not well. Signs that at child might be at risk could include being alone and unsupervised, being out and about at all times of day or night or even going into ‘party’ flats. A vulnerable child might be very dirty or persistently hungry, or have parents who are drunk in charge of them. If you’re at all worried, it’s important to take action.”
If you have seen something and have concerns about a child or children CPCScotland are clear that it’s much better to say something than do nothing. Alan Small says that your intervention could help a child at risk.
“You can ask the child if they’re okay or even offer the family some support. Or, if the situation is serious and you’re very worried speak to a social worker in your local family team or the police. Full contact details are available at www.hcpc.scot ”